Detroit rock city

May 24, 2008

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PREGAME

We're not live yet. We're still in our hotel room getting a little rest before the game tonight.

EN reader Michael Bober sent the following into us:

Tonight is for Rico Fata missing the net, even if it was a soccer net.

Koltsov was going to be the savior of the Pens with his quick feet and hands of stone.

Dick Tarnstrom was Bobby Orr and Ric Jackman was what every career minor leaguer should turn out to be.

Tonight is for Mario's return and stupid hip and ailing heart.

It is also for Primeau's five OT winner and rats raining down from the heavens.

As for all the heartbreak there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

A flashy kid named Marc-Andre with his bright yellow pads andA lottery ball with the skating, flightless bird on it changed it all.

Tonight is for Sidney's shootout winner, topshelf over Theodore.

It is for Edzo and Palffy's shoulder.

A superstar in the shadows who left his country and contract simply known as Geno.

Tonight is about the Senators destroying the Pens in five and Crosby's ability to take our breath away.

May 24th is about you Penguin fans.

The ones who sat through Edmonton's boring 3-1 victory where Shawn Horcoff beat the Pens by himself.

Tonight is for you who packed the Mellon at 11 thousand proud to watch Rick Berry and Jamie Pushor.

Tonight erases all of that pain.

Tonight makes every moment of these past few years worth it.

So tonight as you sit down to bite your nails over the game, remember, these moments and relax.

You never know when you get to enjoy this kind of ride again.

-Michel Therrien and Mike Babcock had press conferences earlier today. Kukla's Korner has the transcripts.

-"Bill" from St. Paul, Minn. e-mailed us this picture to show us he's flying and wearing the right colors:

bill

-Joe Louis Arena is apparently made out of lead because our phone is having trouble sending stuff through. We'll get some photos up as soon as they come through.

-It's like Mardi Gras in the Concorse here. Just without the nudity and vomiting. Penguins fans are whooping up a storm and high-fiving each other. Red Wings fans seem a little taken aback that their arena has been invaded like this.

-The teams have taken to the ice to warm up. The Penguins fans come onto the ice to a good mixure of boos and cheers. The Red Wings are greeted with mostly cheers.

-A "Let's-Go Red-Wings!" chant is contested with a "Jarrk-O Ruu-Tu!"

-What Would Gary Roberts Drink?

fiji

-The Penguins scratches are Gary Roberts, Darryl Sydor, Kris Beech, Jeff Taffe and Dany Sabourin.

-Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is a scratch.

-Detroit scratched quite a few people and we're too lazy to write them all down. Click here to see the game rosters.

-Coming onto the ice for the game, Marc-Andre Fleury actually fell. Not a good way to start the night. PUT IN CONKLIN!

-The national anthem is played. No idea who sang it other than some pretty young lady.

-Al Sobotka actually came onto the ice and twirled an octopus.

-Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux are introduced on the ice for a ceremonial puck drop. Lemieux gets a pretty loud ovation but the crowd explodes for Yzerman.

FIRST PERIOD

20:00: The Stanley Cup final begins at 8:17 p.m.

19:42: Jiri Hudler appears to trip up Sidney Crosby behind the net. No call.

18:42: We get the first exchange of hostilities as Georges Laraque bumps Kirk Maltby from behind as the Red Wings go off sides. Darren McCarty gets in Laraque's face and talks to him about Mantsala Rebellion. We think.

17:33: "Osss-Gooooood... Ossss-Gooood...span>"

16:09: Marc-Andre Fleury makes two nice saves on the Red Wings. Kris Letang is sent off for interference.

15:58: Things get evened up as Tomas Holmstrom is sent off for high sticking. It will be four-on-four for about 1:50.

14:09: Valtteri Filppula drives into the net and basically runs over Fleury. Fleury's helmet is knocked off. No call.

13:24: Pavel Datsyuk gets a shot on net. Fleury holds it out. Holmstrom digs for it but Fleury keeps it out. Orpik fights off Holmstrom then Datsyuk after the save. It's not taking long for these teams to get physical.

13:01: Fleury absolutely robs Maltby on a one-timer in the slot.

11:16: "Let's Go Pens! Let's Go Pens!"

10:03: Crosby dishes a pass to Marian Hossa on the left side. Hossa takes it and glide in on net but before he can do anything, Osgood slides out and pokes the puck away. Nice play. "Ozzzz-EEE! Ozzzzz-EEEEE!!"

9:45: The Penguins will get a chance to get on the board first as Nicklas Lidstrom is nabbed for hooking Ryan Malone in the corner. Two minutes.

7:53: Petr Sykora rips a shot from the right corner. Osgood somehow is able to stop it despite traffic. Big save.

7:44: The power play expires without the Penguins mounting much of an attack.

7:22: The Penguins get another chance as Darren Helm hooks Maxime Talbot's legs out. Two minutes.

6:32: The Penguins fire a rocket from the point. It bounces off the back boards and rebounds into the crease. It hits off Crosby but Osgood is able to snag it with a sprawling glove save. Another big save. "Ozzz-Eeee! Ozzzzz-Eeee!"

5:33: "Ozzzzz-Eeeeee! Ozzzzz-Eeeee!"

4:40: Lidstrom gets a puck in the left faceoff circle and rockets a wrister on the blocker side of Fleury. Fans cheer and flames shoot out of the scoreboard. Officials immediately wave it off saying Holmstrom interfered with Fleury. Replys show Holmstrom waving his stick in front of Fleury and making contract with his legs. It almost appeas as if he had his blade between Fleury's legs. Holmstrom gets two minutes for goaltenders intereference. Mike Babcock is steaming on the bench. The Penguins got a big break there.

3:49: Niklas Kronwall absolutley tags Ryan Malone with a check inside the Penguins' blue line.

3:34: Sykora brings the puck up the left side and feed a pass into the slot. Evgeni Malkin tries to dig it by Osgood but no dice.

0:59: Hal Gill is sent off for high sticking Holmstrom. He appears to cross check him in the head sort of. Not a good time to take a penalty.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 0, Red Wings 0.

-We apologize if the updates have been slow. The wireless connection here has been a big problem for a lot of the working media here. For a league that brags about how Web savy it is, this is a joke. We know this is a problem most of you don't care. This is just us letting off steam.

-The Penguins are out-shooting Detroit, 12-11.

-As he entered the ice this time, Marc-Andre Fleury did this little bunny hop on to the ice.

-A tech guy with the NHL just yelled out, "The whole system is down." Whoever said this was a garage league?

-Detroit will start the period with 1:00 of power play time on clean ice.

SECOND PERIOD

19:37: Jarkko Ruutu gets away with a trip on Dan Cleary.

18:30ish: The Wings fire a shot from the point. Fleury mis-handles it with his glove. Fortunately for the Penguins Detroit can't punch in the rebound

18:05: Crosby is sent off for slashing.

14:17: Hossa fires a writer from the left faceoff circle osgood eats it up.

13:39: Dupuis gets in alone on Osgood and tries to go five hole. Osgood closes the gates. "Ozzz-Eeeee! Ozzzz-Eeeee!"

12:27: We apologize if EN stinks tonight. We're wrestling with whatever Web connection we can get.

11:57: EN readers Chris Esposito and Mario Lopez inform us the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won Game 7 of their series against Portland, 3-2.

9:00: With the game being a stalemate so far, the crowd hs become a little bit quiet.

6:59: Mikael Samuelsson takes the puck in the neutral zone, enters the offensive zone, goes by Rob Scuderi and swoops behind the net. He sneaks in a wraparound by the left toe of Fleury, a player he was dealt for (sort of). The crowd explodes. Fire blows out of the scoreboard. Some song is played. We don't know what it was. Red Wings 1-0.

6:47: Ryan Whitney is sent off for holding.

6:28: Brian Rafalski tees up a shot at the point. It hits a body and trickles away from the net.

5:30: Samulesson fires a slapper on net from the point. Fleury stops it and snags the rebound out of the air.

4:29: The Wings toss a shot on net from the point. Fleury leans over to scoop it up. Hal Gill is shoved into the net by a Detroit player. A small scrum ensues.

4:29: The "Unleash Hell" line from "Gladiator" is played.

4:16: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

3:56: Lidstrom comes down ice and fires a rocket on net. Fleury knocks it down and covers it.

2:37: Talbot tries to run over a Red Wing behind Detroit's net but gets all glass.

0:31: Malkin is nabbed for tripping Filppula. Bad time to take that.

0:00: End of period. Red Wings 1, Penguins 0.

-Detroit will start the period with 1:28 of power play time on clean ice.

-The Penguins were lucky to only give up one goal that period. They were completely out-played that period. Detroit took the body to them and out-shot them 16-4.

-Marc-Andre Fleury has kept this a one-goal game.

-Detroit has a 26-20 lead in faceoffs.

-Brooks Orpik leads the game with five blocked shots.

-Dan Potash tells us 13,589 souls showed up at Mellon Arena tonight to watch the game. Holy Len Barrie that's insane.

THIRD PERIOD

18:32: The Penguins kill off Malkin's penalty.

17:44: Uh... when exactly did Mikael Samuelsson decide he wanted revenge against the Penguins? He out-works Gill behind the Penguins' net for a puck. Fleury pokes it up to Malkin who can't play it cleanly. Samuelsson is Johnny-on-the-spot jumping on the loose puck and he shuffles it by Fleury on his right side. That play was all about hussle. The "Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani is played. Red Wings 2-0.

16:38: "Flerrrrr-Eeeeeee.... Flerrrrr-Eeeeeee...."

14:37: The Penguins might've gotten away with a penalty in the corner. The crowd groaned at something. We can't see it from behind Larry Murphy's head.

12:51: The "This is where we hold them" line from "300" is played..

11:30: "Let's-Go Red-Wings! Let's-Go Red-Wings!"

11:26: "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey is played. Everyone screams the "south Detroit" part. EN reader Judd Stricker, a native of Detroit, once told us there really isn't a south Detroit. If anything, Windsor is "south Detroit."

8:56: Orpik blasts a wild slapper at the net. It hits off the boards behind the net and rebound out to the other side. Crosby tries to punch it quickly but can't get a clean shot off.

8:31: Not a lot of offense this period. The Red Wings have four shots while the Penguins have two.

6:22: Henrik Zetterberg fires a shot on net from the slot. Fleury covers it. Holmstrom digs for it and is fought off by Orpik.

4:58: Staal checks Filppula from behind near the boards. No call.

4:48: A few Red Wings fans are leaving early. That's pretty weak.

4:33: Detroit leaves the door open for the Penguins a little bit. Hossa comes up ice and tries to poke the puck by Lidstrom and skate by him. Lidstrom blocks him like Alan Faneca. Two minutes for interference. Have to score here if they want a chance

3:56: Crosby comes through the offensive zone with the puck. He approaches the net and looses it. He throws Kronwall to the ice.

3:44: Sergei Gonchar blasts a slapper from the point. Osgood stands him up.

2:42: You don't give up short-handed goals and expect to win the Stanley Cup. The puck gets cleared up ice by Detroit. Dan Clearly simply out-skates Kris Letang to it and shuffle a backhander that beats Fleury on the glove side. Horrible play by Letang and weak goal for Fleury to give up. Heads up by Cleary though. Red Wings 3, Penguins 0.

2:01: "Ozzzz-Eeee! Ozzzz-Eeeee!"

1:52: Ruutu chops a Red Wings player like Paul Bunyan. That was really stupid. Two minutes. It probably could be a suspension if the NHL was serious about discipline.

1:02: Lidstrom has another chance in deep but is denied by Fleury.

0:28: "Ozzz-Eeee! Ozzzz-Eeee!"

0:12: Tic-tac-toe passing leads to another goal. Zetterberg gets a crisp pass in the slot and rockets it by Fleury. The "Hey Song" is played. Red Wings 4, Penguins 0.

0:00: End of game. Red Wings 4, Penguins 0.

POSTGAME

-That was a butt kicking plain and simple. Detroit executed their game plan and completely disrupted the Penguins'. They out-hit and out-shot the Penguins and they out-hustled them as well. That was as dominant of a playoff game we have seen this season.

-For as much talk there is about the Red Wings ample offensive skill, their defense won this game and has pretty much carried them to this point. There isn't a finer defensive team in the league. Playing from behind on this team is tough.

-Marc-Andre Fleury was completely left out to dry by his team. Except for Cleary's goal, he played well.

-The Penguins were out-shot 36-19.

-Detroit had an edge in faceoffs, 35-31.

-Both of Samuelsson's goals were unassisted.

-Zetterberg led all skaters with eight shots.

-We're a little doubtful of Detroit only edging the Penguins 31-25 in the hits department.

-We have tons of jersey pictures from tonight. In addition to the wireless Internet problems, we had issues getting a signal on our phone.

-Therrien said of the game, "Definitely, that was the worst performance of the playoffs."

-Of Detroit Therrien said, "No doubt, this is the best team we've played."

-Game Summary

-Event Summary

-Highlights:







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